This I Believe

Teara - Salkum, Washington
Entered on March 26, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

You will always be my little girl. It all started with a dad and his daughter, and the promise he made to his daughter. The one that had been repeated to the point of exhaustion. The bond between a father and daughter never seems to weaken through the years, but become stronger. There is not a lot that could make me think of my dad as lesser of a man. He is not just my father, he is my stability. He is the person that I can always turn to when something is troubling me. Words cannot begin to describe the love I have for him. No matter how old I get and no matter what new man comes into my life, he is the only one I feel I can completely trust. When I look at him I see the most hardworking loyal person I have ever known. This person I know will never leave me.

Alcohol abuse. Those two words make the world go cloudy, make my vision blur. I have never felt such a strong dislike for something in my life. The worst part about my hate for alcohol is that my dad was addicted to it. I never thought anyone could ever take my place as daddy’s girl. He promised me at the age of four I wouldn’t ever have to worry about losing him. he would always by my daddy, and me his little girl. As I grew so did the fear of losing my dad. I could not have known that I would end up losing him in the worst way. Have you ever looked up into a grown mans eyes just to see emptiness, a shell with no soul? I have.

When I entered seventh grade my dad started drinking. The term, its all down hill from here. applies to the situation. He did not just drink on weekends, he drank all the time. It was tearing my family apart. An outsider looking in on my family could have seen how broken we were. Mom dealt with it by crying to herself when no one was around. she didn’t know that I could hear her sobs through the walls. My younger brother ate himself out of misery. My youngest sibling started to hit people and bite. I yelled. I yelled for all of their bottled up emotions and my own. I could not stand to see this stranger tear my family apart. This person was not my dad; the alcohol had transformed him into a person that nobody wanted to be around. A person to be avoided.

Anger was the only emotion that the alcohol allowed him to have. When he would het into an episode I would battle it out with him, knowing that my siblings would much rather see me argue with him than my mom. I would yell and yell, until he would finally crack. Slowly, tears would start to fall down his face. Apologies came rolling out of his mouth, along with the stale aroma of beer. Over and over he swore that he would quit, that he hated to see how much his drinking affected us. It took only a few times before I realized these drunken promises meant nothing. One night me and my dad really got into it, I told him exactly what was on my mind. I told him how worthless he was and how he was ripping my family apart, and I was not going to take it anymore. Through my tears I reminded him of his promise, the one he had made so long ago. I was his little girl, remember? Alcohol had replaced me; he loved that substance more than he loved me. I wanted him to hurt as much as I did. To feel the pain I felt. To know how it ripped my heart to pieces to lose him. The look on his face only fell with the weight of each word and the pain in my heart only grew. I told him I wanted him out of our life if he could not straighten up. I wrote a letter to him that night, in it I told him this was my last effort. if he could not manage to sober up I would give up in him. No longer would I call him dad. It tore me apart to write such cruel things to him. Things that I knew would make him feel as if his world was crashing down around him. In the morning I left the note on the counter, I wanted him to read it with a sober mind. The next day when i looked in the fridge after school, for the first time in years, there was no beer.

My dad gave up the alcohol, the substance that had ruled his life for the greater part of four years. It has not been easy on him, but he realizes that the love our family can give him is more than the alcohol can give him. After all the trivial years my dad created, I can still firmly say that I love my daddy more than any man on this planet. My father broke one of his biggest promises he ever made, but yet I still trust him. I gave my dad a second chance, and with it he has managed to start over. No longer do I worry about losing my daddy. Would I feel this way if I would not have given him a second chance? Probably not. I believe in second chances.